One area where hospitality and foodservice businesses can make a significant impact is in their commercial kitchens. Commercial kitchens can save a considerable amount of money on their energy bills by making simple changes to procedures and investing in energy efficient appliances.
Here are specific, money-saving ways to make your commercial kitchen more energy efficient:
How to increase energy efficiency in a commercial kitchen
Here are five ways in bullet points to make a difference to your bottom line.
⦁ Control the temperature
⦁ Use efficient kitchen layouts
⦁ invest in energy-efficient catering equipment
⦁ Maintenance is key to daily efficiency
⦁ Use staff training to promote efficient practices
Control the temperature
The temperature is the first place to start when making your commercial kitchen more energy efficient. All commercial kitchens use high heat appliances and will often switch them on at the beginning of the day and shut them down at the end of service. Keeping a grill on, for example, when it’s not in use increases energy costs and can be a safety hazard.
To help reduce energy, switching off or turning it down should be your motto. If staff aren’t using equipment during service, turn it off. If equipment isn’t being used imminently but will be later, turn it down to a lower setting until it’s needed.
Think before you turn an appliance on, think before you preheat, and think about only using your key items when you need them. Your motto should be – think before you turn it on!
Efficient kitchen layouts
A well-designed commercial kitchen will have a straightforward workflow that minimises unnecessary movement. Appliances and workstations should be laid out ergonomically, making it easy for staff to move between them.
The layout of your commercial kitchen can significantly impact its energy efficiency. One way to save energy is by grouping together all of your heat-generating appliances. Place the oven, grill, fryer and other HOT appliances in one place and make sure they’re well ventilated.
It might seem obvious to most professional caterers, but separate refrigeration and cooking areas. By keeping these opposite-end appliances apart, you can stop them from competing for energy and help each one run to more efficiently.
Buy energy-efficient catering equipment
The range of commercial kitchen appliances on the market is vast and ever-growing. When choosing which ones to buy, look for the efficiency rating specification. The higher the rating spec, the more energy-efficient the appliance will likely be. Pay attention to energy efficient features such as induction or infra red heating, commercial fryers that use less oil or warewashers with double insulation to help retain heat. Speak to a reputable supplier such as the team at https://www.247cateringsupplies.co.uk to discuss your needs and find out more about energy efficient appliances.
Not only will buying energy-efficient appliances save you money on your energy bills in the long run, but they’ll also help to reduce your carbon footprint.
Maintenance is key to daily efficiency
Regular maintenance is key to keeping commercial kitchens running smoothly and efficiently on a day-to-day basis. Keeping on top of maintenance is vital as it can help prolong the life of your appliances – here are some more practical tips.
⦁ Check the seals on your ovens and refrigeration for signs of wear and tear that could allow chilled air or heat to escape
⦁ Pay attention to water, electric and gas fixtures and fittings to make sure there are no leaks
⦁ Check and clean oven heating elements and refrigeration condenser coils
⦁ Regularly clean greasy vents
⦁ Make sure all ventilation and extraction elements are clean and working properly
⦁ Make sure your equipment is reaching the correct temperature
Use staff training to promote efficient practices
As well as having energy-efficient commercial kitchen appliances and following good maintenance routines, it’s crucial to have a team of staff trained in efficient working practices.
Encourage your team to turn off appliances when they’re not in use, to use the correct settings on ovens and cookers, and only to run the dishwasher when it’s full.
You could also provide staff training on food waste management. Reducing food waste is good for the environment and can save your commercial kitchen money.
Understanding how your appliance works most efficiently is a great way to save. For example, staff should never overfill a freezer as this prevents the cold air from circulating correctly, making it work harder and use more energy.
Never leave a fridge or freezer door open, obvious we know, but we see this happening all the time. If staff members have to keep opening the door to check what’s inside, not only is this a waste of energy, but it will also shorten the life of your commercial fridge or freezer.
When not in use, turn off the lights, and spend money on energy-efficient light fixtures and bulbs. Making one person in charge of turning off extra lighting when a service is over can help you save hard-earned money on energy costs and minimise your carbon footprint.
As you can see, there are many ways to make your commercial kitchen more energy efficient. By following these easy-to-execute tips, you can save money on your energy bills and prolong the life of your appliances.
Reducing energy consumption doesn’t have to be complicated – often, small changes make the biggest difference. So, next time you’re in your commercial kitchen, think before you turn it on.